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The best BMW to buy

BMW now makes more than 70 different model variants for the UK alone, but which is best suited to you?

a blue bmw m2 with black wheels driving on a windy road

Finding the right BMW for you can be a daunting task because there are so many different body types, engines, trim levels, and models on offer.

Because of the broad range of nearly-new and used BMW models available, we’ve put together a list of the top five you should consider for your next used car purchase.

BMW i3

an orange bmw i3 parked outside a house being plugged into charge by a woman

The all-electric i3 is the smallest car BMW makes, and it also happens to be the most interesting and environmentally conscious.

It was the first mass-produced production car to be made almost entirely of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic, which essentially means it’s very strong and durable in the event of an accident.

Inside, it’s full of plush finishings, but many parts such as the seats are made from recycled materials and sustainable vegan leather.

To help reduce its environmental impact further, its electric setup is very efficient. BMW claims you’ll get 188 miles on a single charge from its 170hp electric motor that’s mated to a 42.2kWh battery pack.

Prices for used i3 models start at around £14,000, which is very reasonable considering what you get.


An orange BMW X2 drifting on orange sand

Under its skin, the BMW X2 is exactly the same as the BMW X1 – but with a different body.

The X2 offers more of a sleek coupé look whereas its relative looks more like a traditional SUV.

The reason you may want the more stylish X2 is because it feels more like a hatchback to drive, which is appealing in many ways – especially if you appreciate and enjoy driving but still need a practical car.

Speaking of which, the X2 has a large 470-litre boot, which is plenty for most people’s weekly food shop or a trip to the airport with a couple of suitcases.

Power options include the 18i (135hp), mid-range 20i (178hp) and top-spec M35i, which is the one to have if you’ve got a heavy right foot.

There are also diesel engines available on older models that are better suited to longer motorway drives, as that’s when they perform at their best. Then there’s the plug-in hybrid, which is perfect for town and city-dwellers.

Prices for used X2 models start at around £17,000, which is good considering it’s in SUV territory.

BMW 4 Series

a light blue bmw 4 series parked near a large hill

The BMW 4 Series is one of the most popular models the brand sells, and there’s a reason for it.

This sporty coupé boasts a posh interior, a high-quality infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, lots of tech and a great selection of performance engines to impress your mates.

Out of all the options, if you want performance and power then the M4 is the obvious choice, but to keep it more sensible and fuel-efficient we’d recommend the 3.0-litre petrol engine that produces 374hp and sounds superb.

However, if you like the sound of an electric car, BMW also makes an all-electric i4 model that offers up to 366 miles of range and high levels of performance, including a 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds in the top-spec M50 model.

Prices for used 4 Series models start at around £17,000, which is pretty good for a luxury sports car.

BMW 2 Series

A white BMW 2 Series Coupe driving in the sun

Drop it down a gear and you reach the 2 Series – after passing down through the 3 Series saloon and Touring, of course.

This is a good alternative to the Audi A3 because you get that simplistic yet modern BMW interior, and a sporty feel when behind the wheel.

BMW’s small two-door compact saloon is ideal for someone upgrading from their first car because the step-up in performance for the price is a very attractive proposition.

The top-spec M2 is the one to get if you’re a speed demon because it offers a de-tuned BMW M3 and M4 turbocharged 3.0-litre engine, which produces a whopping 365hp that is sent straight to the rear wheels.

But if this isn’t for you, we’d recommend the equally as impressive but more sensible M240i petrol or smaller 218i petrol. Either way, you’re getting a splendid machine.

There are also the larger Active Tourer and Gran Tourer models which are better for families or those who want more interior space.

Prices for used 2 Series models start at around £13,000, making it a fine choice to move up to from a cheaper hatchback.


A blue BMW X5 parked on a rooftop carpark in a city

If you enjoy a higher driving position and the added safety and reliability of a BMW SUV, then BMW’s X5 is the best option for you.

This car has been around for decades now, meaning BMW has fine-tuned it to be the best it can possibly be. This means the most luxurious interior, solid and reliable engines, decent performance from both petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid models, and added safety because of the overall size.

Interior space is amazing too, with plenty of room for up to five passengers and a large 650-litre boot that grows to an astonishing 1,870 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.

Prices for used X5 models start at around £34,000, which for a full-sized SUV is very good – especially with the amount of road presence this one has.

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